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Sara Skahill

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  1. This article was written by Mads Klougart Jakobsen, Manager, Internal Communications, and first appeared on the employee-only LEGO web. With his permission we can share the story with you, and you are welcome to share it with your community. 100 years ago, today, former LEGO® owner and managing director Godtfred Kirk Christiansen was born. His influence on the company and the success of the LEGO system in play is undeniable, but brand-new research done by our historians in LEGO Idea House shows that his influence on the LEGO brick and the company is even greater than we initially thought. “For decades we have been unable to give a precise answer to the question of how the LEGO brick was developed, and who was the mastermind behind the design. We have been convinced that it was a lengthy development process carried out by a team of LEGO employees in the mid to late 1950s. Thanks to newly-discovered material, we have found out that Godtfred actually played a pivotal role in developing the LEGO brick that people all over the world love today,” explains Signe Wiese, Corporate Historian from LEGO Idea House. Here is the never-before-told story of the development of the iconic LEGO brick: It’s January 23, 1958. Three men are sitting in a LEGO office in Billund. The three men are Godtfred Kirk, his brother Karl Georg (presumably) and Axel Thomsen, head of LEGO sales office in Germany. The latter explains that he’s getting complaints from his customers in Germany about the fact that models built with the company’s plastic building bricks are lacking stability and clutch power. The problem is discussed at length, and several ideas and solutions are put forward. At some point, Godtfred finds a piece of paper with circles on, and starts to sketch the different ideas for a new brick design. That same day, Godtfred hands the sketch to Ove Nielsen, then head of the LEGO moulding shop. He is instructed to make a sample of the new brick design with two inner clutch tubes. One of the first sketches of the design with two inner clutch tubes. The following day, Godtfred brings his sketches and samples to the office of patent agency Hofman-Bang & Boutard in Copenhagen for them to get started on the work of applying for a patent. However, on his way home to Billund, he ponders over the idea of creating a new design for a brick with three inner clutch tubes instead of two. When he reaches Billund, he has come to the conclusion that three tubes will work better than two, because it will provide even better interlocking action. He has Ove Nielsen create a new brick sample by cutting up and gluing together existing elements. This new three-tube design is then sent to the patent office with express courier. Only a few days later, on January 28, 1958 at precisely 1.58 pm, the LEGO Group files the application for a patent for a new type of building system. A system in which two or several interlocking plastic building elements can be put together in a great number of mutually different positions – or as it is more widely referred to: The patent of the LEGO brick. “We’re now able to conclude that it took no more than five days to develop and patent the design of the LEGO brick, and we can also conclude that the mastermind behind this everlasting design was none other than Godtfred himself. I can’t find a more fitting way to celebrate his 100th birthday,” smiles Signe.
  2. As you might know, LEGO Play Day (or in this case, week), is going on, during which LEGO employees are encouraged to rediscover "play" and gain inspiration. Recently our internal communications team reached out to a small group of AFOLs to discuss how they "play". The article was shared internally and I wanted to share it here as well. Article by Giovanna Devoraes Rossin. Just like kids, our adult fans (AFOLs) should be our role models. They spend a big part of their lives playing. We talked with three AFOLs to understand why it’s important to keep playing even as an adult – and perhaps get inspired to bring more play and fun, beyond this week, to our daily lives. Richard Jones: “When people don’t understand my hobby, I explain that it’s like being a football fan, except without the football, or 10 pages in the newspaper. Then they get it.” Training creativity to overcome work puzzles Richard Jones, a self-described ‘child of the 70’s and 80’s’ based in Australia, relies on play to turn away the pressure of everyday life and maintain his creativity sharp and ready for work challenges. “As an anaesthesiologist, when you have a limited time to get to know a patient before their surgery, it’s important to be able to build rapport and put them at ease quickly. This might require some creative solutions and keeping creativity and playfulness in training in the off hours helps to come to these solutions a little faster”. It was Richard’s children who helped him rekindle his childhood passion for the bricks but now he’s the most enthusiastic in the family. In recent years, he has travelled to showcase his ‘My Own Creations’ (MOCs) around Australia, Japan, and Portugal, and since 2016 he maintains The Rambling Brick blog. Fun against university stress and homesickness Unlike many AFOLs that enjoyed LEGO® sets in their childhood, Krista Simpson only discovered the benefits of mindfulness-based building when she reached university. “LEGO play definitely became important in my life during my university years – I had moved far from home, I lived alone, and university was stressful. In fact, it was such a useful tool that I continued to build with LEGO bricks when I carried on to a different university for my graduate degree.” After a brief hiatus during which Krista got into the working world — and fell for “the false idea that being adult means you can no longer play” — she rediscovered LEGO fun and co-founded MILUG (Mid Island LEGO User Group) in Canada in 2016, hosting monthly build nights with other playful adults. Feeling like a child again To Luis Escalante, ambassador of Ticolug, the first and only Recognised LEGO User Group in Costa Rica, “LEGO hobby brings out the child inside us, lets our imagination fly at any level we want, and allows us to see our life easier – like a simple brick.” Coming from a country where many people don’t have access to LEGO bricks, Luis and the local AFOL community organise at least one charity event every year. In 2019, they exhibited their MOCs and collections at the National Children’s Hospital to bring happiness to the kids, doctors, and families. Luis’ dream came true last year when he visited Billund with his wife to celebrate his 35th birthday. “Having fun in LEGOLAND®, LEGO House, and being in front of the house where this ‘crazy’ hobby began was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. I really felt like a kid again and the feeling was exactly the same as when I received my first LEGO toy.” Luis Escalante: "LEGO play is for all ages, just be creative, have fun and keep building.”
  3. Sara Skahill

    Tongal Beta Testing

    The LEGO Group and Tongal are seeking members across the AFOL communities to join our beta tester group to explore a new and exciting project. We are particularly interested in working with AFOLs with creative backgrounds in writing, animation, illustration, design, art, editing, and brick building, though we are also open to other occupations and hobbies as well. Beta testing can be done remotely from your home and will run over an 8-week period, from April 15th to June 19th. We estimate this will take about an hour of your time each week for 8 consecutive weeks. However, you are welcome to explore and engage with this project as much as you like. To join our beta group, you must be 18 years of age or older. In order to get an inside look at this exciting project, we'll ask that you sign an NDA and our Terms of Service as well as attend a one-hour onboarding livestream with our team to learn more about the tools you'll have at your disposal for providing feedback. If you’re interested, let us know by sending us an email at beta@tongal.com! Further information will be available to those who sign up.
  4. @Lugnet AT Hi Joachim, we have your application, and we hope to be able to review applications in the spring or early summer. Thanks for being patient!
  5. Cats and LEGO, two of my favorite things!
  6. Every year, The LEGO Group gives its employees a holiday gift, you might have read that this year’s gift is 4002019 Christmas X-Wing. When these gifts are given to employees, a Christmas Card is included. This year, the official LEGO employee Christmas card is decorated with a photo created by Joseph Cowlishaw of the recognized community Toy Photographers. Recently the LEGO Group has been featured more fan created images and videos on their social media channels but featuring AFOL photography on a holiday card is an exciting new opportunity! Here is what Scott Neillands, Associate Creative Director in the LEGO Agency, says about this year’s Christmas card: “We were looking for inspiration for this year’s LEGO Christmas card and discovered all the great Christmas-themed images that were already being created by the Toy Photography community. It just made so much sense to tap into what they were doing and use one of the great images for our Christmas card. I’m sure it won’t be the last time we’ll be working together with them.” The photo from the holiday card is just one of many LEGO holiday photos shared with us by Toy Photographers. Here you can see some of the other photos that hopefully will spark joy and inspiration as they’re shared on LEGO channels throughout this holiday season. On behalf of the team, we wish you all a FANtastic holiday 🎅
  7. One more for ambassadors, one for public comments...I'll be trying to answer questions in both places
  8. @Tony Graham It’s too early to make any commitments in that area – that’s something we will look at after closing. We will work closely with those involved in BrickLink to get the full picture before making any decisions. However, we know that element availability is important to the community!
  9. Acquisition will strengthen the LEGO® Group’s engagement with its growing community of adult fans. BILLUND, Denmark, November 26, 2019: The LEGO® Group today announced it has acquired BrickLink Ltd (www.bricklink.com), the world’s largest online community of adult LEGO fans from NXMH to strengthen its connection with its important adult fan base. The BrickLink platform has more than one million members and comprises an online marketplace of more than 10,000 stores from 70 countries; a digital building software where builders can design and showcase their creations; and a vibrant online community where fans share ideas and builds. The platform was founded in 2000 by Dan Jezek as a way to connect like-minded adult LEGO fans from around the world. It was acquired in 2013 by NXMH, which is owned by Korean entrepreneur Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim. BrickLink is headquartered in Irvine, California. The LEGO Group CEO, Niels B Christiansen said: “Our adult fans are extremely important to us. They are passionate, committed and endlessly creative. We have worked closely with the community for many years and look forward to deepening our collaboration. We plan to continue to support BrickLink’s active marketplace and evolve the digital studio which allows our talented fans to take their creativity to the next level.” Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim, owner of NXMH, said: “It has been a privilege to lead the transformation of BrickLink during the past six years. I am grateful to the community for being so welcoming, supportive and constructive. I am constantly amazed by everyone’s endless creativity and their love for building. I am confident the platform will be in good hands with the LEGO Group. As a fan myself, I can’t wait to see what’s next.” The LEGO Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Julia Goldin, said: “BrickLink provides the LEGO Group with a unique opportunity to connect with adult fans through new channels and exciting experiences. We’ve recently collaborated with BrickLink on a range of crowd-sourced sets to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the brick. We learned a lot and are keen to explore more ways of working together to create value. We look forward to collaborating further with our adult fans, while retaining and nurturing the independent spirit of the digital platform.” The acquisition also includes Sohobricks which makes small batches of building elements. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Closing is expected to occur before the end of 2019. About the LEGO Group: The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO® bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine. The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words LEg GOdt, which mean “Play Well”. Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. However, its products are now sold in more than 140 countries worldwide. For more information: www.LEGO.com. About BrickLink BrickLink is an online marketplace for LEGO® products and represents a vibrant adult fan community. The website was founded in April 2000 and currently has more than 1 million members. For more information: www.bricklink.com and @bricklink on IG and Twitter. Read an interview with Julia Goldin, Global Chief Marketing Officer at The LEGO Group with Brickset and the Brothers Brick.
  10. Sara Skahill

    BrickCon 2019

    @BK_Studios please send an email to CommunitySupport@LEGO.com, thank you
  11. Hi @BK_Studios Paul isn't within the LAN team anymore but I can try to help.
  12. Hi Anna, here is the answer I received back from Sam: The reason that we in the design team create prototypes early on is to aid in the review process. If we cannot create a prototype that is close to the LEGO Group’s standards then it may mean that we will stop development and make the decision that the project will not pass the review.
  13. Voltron, Defender of the Universe, just would not stand up. ”This was heart-wrenching. It was a possibility that the model might be declined, as it was far from meeting The LEGO® Group’s strict quality requirements,” Samuel Johnson, design manager says of the first Voltron exploratory model. LEGO Ideas 21311 Voltron started its journey as a fan model built by Lendy Tayag. Lendy submitted his model to LEGO Ideas, where it gathered 10,000 submissions and entered the LEGO Ideas Review. But you probably already know that part. As part of the review, LEGO Designers explored the feasibility of the model. Could it be built? Was it stable? Are the elements used still active in the LEGO portfolio of elements? “A few of the designers had looked over the photographs of Voltron and each of them had the comment ‘It can’t be done!’… Overhearing this, I said, ‘Give it to me! Of course it can be done!’” says Sam. Sam’s wish was granted and his team got to work – only to find creating Voltron was harder said than done. “Lendy’s model looked fantastic and was ultra-poseable, which was super eye catching, but when we tried to replicate it by building our own copy, the model would just NOT stand up,” Sam explains. The first exploratory model So they built another one – which stood up better, but had a tendency to lean forward…a lot. So that wouldn’t do either. “It was at this point that we had seen Lendy himself building smaller Voltron models, so we got to thinking, ‘maybe ours should be smaller,’” Sam recalls. Hoping this would fix the stability issue, the design team started experimenting with a different scale. Designer Niek van Slagmaat built the model on the left, while at the same time, designer John Ho built the model on the right. Which lead the design team to… Which stood up! But was a far cry from Lendy’s project…. “So, we sat back and all agreed that this little thing was definitely NOT what Lendy or the 10,000 voters wanted,” Sam recalls. “This is not our Voltron. We have to go big or not at all!” The team rallied, and aspired to create the model the project deserved. Pictured the Design team (left to right starting at the top): Samuel T. Liltorp Johnson, Design Manager; Niek van Slagmaat Designer; Mark Tranter; Graphic Designer, Hans Henrik Sidenius, Model Coach; Jean-Marc Laniox-Warrer, building Instructions Developer They returned to Lendy’s original model, and with great care, attention to detail, input from the IP partner and a whole summer of work, Niek created… Ta-da, the almost final model. It still had to go through a vigorous round of quality testing. This includes testing with young kids and teens to see if the transformation was easy enough, and also to ensure the model could be handled by consumers without breaking. Then, the model was heat tested to look for weak points which were corrected and… The LEGO Ideas 21311 Voltron you know today was born! “The volume of elements used is so complex that we used 16 bags to create the build flow,” Sam explains. “This is one of the first times that a ‘sub-build’ in a LEGO set has its own artwork on its building instruction manual.” This means you could build the model yourself, or with a team of up to five people building simultaneously, because, as Sam says, “team work is the true essence of what Voltron is all about.”
  14. Hi @Magnus Hindsberger, BrisBricks (Austr.), Since you're already an ambassador of a community the form isn't available to you - it's only available to non-ambassadors. Jetro could see it due to an error. Can I ask what you need it for?
  15. Sara Skahill

    BrickCon 2019

    Thanks for sharing @Tom Alphin! Of course Koen took much much better pictures than me!
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